The Mfoundi notables issued the ultimatum in a strongly worded correspondence they addressed to the President on September9. The correspondence, signed by the President of the Mfoundi notables generated so much heat within Yaounde power circles when it was published in the French language weekly L’Epervier Plus of Tuesday, October 4.
“Your Excellency, your regime is becoming so tribal and even nepotism-stricken since all powerful posts and money are in the hands of the Bulus and Nanga-Ebokos, whose votes have never been enough to ensure your re-election during different elections,” partly reads the letter.
The notables claim that President Biya solicited their support only when he was in desperate need of votes. “Without Mfoundi, the notables went on; President Paul Biya would not have triumphed over the April 6, 1984 coup attempt, the ghost town operation, the Bakassi case, the fight against Boko Haram as well as the different elections after the advent of multiparty politics.
As far as fighting against the ghost town operation is concerned, Biya confirmed the role they played by saying that if Yaounde is breathing the rest of the country is alive.
Part of the letter reads as follow: “We the people of Mfoundi and through the authorised voice of the Council of notables write to you today to express our disappointment and indignation.
Henceforth, things will no longer be the same between you and us if in your characteristic manner to remain silent and nonchalant.”
In a menacing tone, the notables said the letter they sent to the President is one ofthe last in their attempt to call him to order. Said they; “Contrary to the obligations linked to your functions you have been absent and definitely inaccessible”.
The petition writers qualify their marginalisation as the regime’s genocide on the people.
Hear them: “Our people have been dispersed and despised. Our land has been confiscated and sold out. Very soon we will be a people without a base, without a culture and without a village. We will no longer allow this to happen. For us, it is a question of fighting for our survival”
The notables tell Biya that it is unacceptable that they are absent from decision-making circles that border on the present and future of the country whereas they are the main actors of history.
They claimed that the CPDM, the party Biya dragged them into, no longer belongs to him. According to them, they have always occupied inferior positions in the society.
“Today your Secretary General, Jean Nkuete, has created another CPDM that is closer to the political ambitions of his people, controlled by people of his Bamilike tribe,” they complain.
They equally say the President of the Senate, Marcel Niat Njifenji was not hiding his tribal instincts as all his gifts were taken to the hospitals and the university in the West Region.
The notables threaten: “We are informing you of our departure from the CPDM to other political parties that are close to our aspirations and will not consider us as second class citizens” They said the May 20 Boulevard is situated on a site that the Beti people and Mfoundi indigenes consider it historic to them.
They hold that the Division that hosts State institutions derived its name from River Mfoundi, which is a mystical river”
To them, it is strange that Mfoundi elite do not feature on the list of invitees to the National Day evening party at the Unity Palace. They wonder how such an occasion is usually organised in their home without them.
“Your Excellency, you prefer to invite compatriots from elsewhere. Will you be happy if you are excluded from a ceremony that is taking place in your Division of origin or in your village where you were recently made a notable?” they asked President Biya.
The letter holds that people of the East Region and those of Mfoundi Division are architects of President Biya’s close to 35 years stay in power. Paradoxically,they are the ones that are treated with scorn and reduced to beggarly status.
They complain that their people lack water, electricity, Industries, road infrastructure as compared to the South and West Regions.
The post learnt that the open letter has generated so much controversy that some Mfoundi elite, who are in the Government, are putting pressure on the authors to backpedal.
They argue that the claim that Mfoundi has been completely left out of decision making circles is not true because the Division has four members of Government.They are: the Minister of Public Health, Andre Mama Fouda, the Minister of Small and Medium Size Enterprises, Handicraft and Social Economy, Laurent Serge Etoundi Ngoa, the Minister of Special Duties at the Presidency of the Republic, Philippe Mbarga Mboa and Sectary General at the Prime Minister’s Office, Seraphin Magloire Fouda.
The intimidation from those who are denouncing the petition seems to be paying off. Emile Onambele Zibi, the man who signed the letter is apparently panicking. He told the French language daily, Le Messenger, last week that his Secretary released the document for publication without his knowledge.
In a related story some 300 traditional rulers have accused President Biya of failing to respect the campaign promises he made to them in 1992. The Chiefs vomited their grievances during a meeting with the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Basic Education, Benoit Ndong Soumhet organised in his native village, Konabeng in Lekie Division recently.
The Chiefs complained about the none-construction of the Zamengoe-Okoula-Evondoula-Manatele road which President Biya promised them during campaigns of the 1992 presidential elections. They also complained of lack of electricity, water, schools, and health amenities in their village.
Meanwhile, a memorandum written by the people of Adamawa Region has been the topic of discussion within the Yaounde political circles for quite a while now. The memo equally accuses the Biya regime of marginalising the Region.